This year’s motor show at Geneva is a celebration of power and muscle – and the new Audi R8 V10 is one of the stars of the show. As a clear sign of the times, Audi’s latest animal will also be available in an electronic version, the R8 e-tron.
This high-powered sports car is the first one to give the Tesla S some serious competition in the luxury electronic vehicle sector. The R8 e-tron, which delivers a range of 430 kilometers (270 miles) on one charge, is no slouch compared to its V10 combustion brother either, going from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour (0 to 62 miles per hour) in 3.9 seconds.
The R8 e-tron is a clear signal that VW subsidiary Audi is getting serious about alternative engines. In an interview with Handelsblatt, R&D chief Ulrich Hackenberg confirmed that the company would unveil an electric SUV this year with a range of 500 kilometers (313 miles).
When Mr. Hackenberg arrived in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, in July 2013 to assume his new position as R&D chief, he didn’t like what he saw. His predecessor had suspended work on the R8 e-tron because of poor battery range.
Mr. Hackenberg, a close associate of VW CEO Martin Winterkorn, had the project restarted immediately and additional electric cars developed. The results are being unveiled this year. As well as presenting the R8 e-tron in Geneva, the automaker will unveil the fully electric SUV, the Q8, at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in September. It is also expected to feature an autonomous driving system.